Polish Track and Field Olympian Auctioning Off Silver Medal to Raise Money for Boy's Heart Surgery

Maria Andrejczyk said her medal in javelin is “a symbol of struggle, faith and pursuit of dreams despite many odds”

Silver medalist Maria Andrejczyk of Team Poland stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s Javelin Throw on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan
Maria Andrejczyk . Photo: Matthias Hangst/Getty

Polish javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk has auctioned off her first Olympic medal to help raise money for a little boy's heart surgery.

Days after winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Summer Games, the 25-year-old announced on Facebook that her goal was to raise $190,000 for Polish child Miloszek Małysa, 8 months, to go to the United States for life-saving surgery.

"Miloszek has a serious heart defect, he needs an operation," she wrote on Aug. 11. "He already has a head start from Kubus — a boy who didn't make it in time but whose amazing parents decided to pass on the funds they collected."

She added, "And in this way, I also want to help. It's for him that I am auctioning my Olympic silver medal."

Miłoszek Małysa
Miłoszek Małysa. Siepomaga

Miloszek's donation page is hoping to raise over $380,000 — half of which Andrejczyk, who is a bone cancer survivor, wanted to contribute.

On Monday, the javelin thrower revealed that Polish convenience store chain Zabka won the auction and contributed more than her goal.

"We have the winner of the auction!" the Olympian shared. "On Friday I received this wonderful information, and due to the fact that you dears have already done wonders and joint forces have paid more than the equivalent of the initial medal to the Mi łooszka account - I decided to end the auction so that our Mi łoosz will receive the whole amount as soon as possible and can fly to the USA."

Andrejczyk expressed that she is "eternally grateful" to the company and honored to give them her medal, "which for me is a symbol of struggle, faith and pursuit of dreams despite many odds."

"I hope that for you it will be a symbol of the life we fought for together," she wrote.

Following her announcement, Zabka tweeted that they actually want Andrejczyk to hold onto her special hardware.

"We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian, so we decided to support the fundraiser for Miłoszek," the company tweeted.

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They added, "We decided that from Tokyo will stay with Maria! We admire [Andrejczyk] and we are glad that we were able to contribute."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the child's donation page has raised nearly $346,000 for his heart surgery.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.

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